Summer is here and the water offshore is hot! The satellite image of the sea surface temperatures off of Cape Hatteras is all shades of orange & red...and a deeper red swath of water offshore. So we were looking for the hotter hot water today! It was nice to have a breeze accompanying us offshore to get the birds up and moving. We did not see much on our way to the shelf edge this morning, just some Royal Terns and a handful of Cory's Shearwaters - but our first Black-capped Petrel was right over the break in 100 fathoms! It was a day of hot water birds - Black-cappeds (top) and Band-rumpeds (bottom).
Thank you to everyone who joined us today! And thank you also to Nate Swick & Sage Church for helping us lead the trip! While it was not the best day for photography, I did my best and have included a few images here for the report! -Kate Sutherland
July 15, 2016 Trip List
Black-capped Petrel 41
Cory's Shearwater 8
Great Shearwater 3
Audubon's Shearwater 6
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 27-32
Leach's Storm-Petrel 2
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 13-17
Brown Booby 1
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin 5
Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin 40-50
Hammerhead Shark 1
While these are not the best photos, this is one of the first Black-cappeds we saw this morning - it is a fresh white-faced individual! I just really enjoyed the crispness of the underwings and feathers, most of the Black-cappeds we saw today were in varying stages of molt.
A Wilson's Storm-Petrel - in short supply today! But you can see the yellow webbing on its feet in this picture...
& one more Band-rumped Storm-Petrel image...